UNHCR Commends the New Zealand Government for its Response to the Syrian Crisis
UNHCR welcomes the announcement, made today by the Honorable Michael Woodhouse, Immigration Minister that New Zealand
will resettle 750 Syrian refugees in urgent need of protection over the course of the next two and a half years.
In particular, UNHCR sincerely appreciates the Government of New Zealand for its commitment to provide 600 of the 750
places over and above the existing capacity of the annual Refugee Quota.
UNHCR also welcomes today’s announcement by the Honorable Murray McCully, Foreign Minister that New Zealand will
contribute a further 4.5 million dollars to programmes for the protection of refugees forced to flee from Syria.
“We are seeing unprecedented displacement and tragedy caused by the conflict in Syria. Measures – such as these welcome
commitments by New Zealand – which increase protection and opportunities for some of the most desperate Syrian refugees
to be resettled are very important and timely,” said UNHCR Regional Representative Thomas Albrecht.
The conflict in Syria has, since 2011, forced more than 4 million men, women and children to flee as refugees, and has
resulted in Syrian nationals becoming the largest single refugee population today.
As a complement to effective asylum systems, additional resettlement capacity can help provide protection and solutions
where they are most urgently needed.